I used to think life was simple. A person who opened his doors to the public was committed to serve any well-behaved member of the public. Thus, a Woolworth’s lunch counter could not refuse to serve a black customer because he was black. I used to think the public space was like the highway. You only saw the cars and as long as each car kept to his lane and followed the traffic rules it was of no concern to you if Bigfoot was driving the vehicle. Public space, public behavior. You didn’t care who was in the car.
But maybe things aren’t so simple. Consider the following actual situations.
- Should Christian Bakers Be Allowed to Refuse Wedding Cakes to Gays?
- Muslim taxi driver dumps family out of his cab after spotting an unopened bottle of wine saying it was against his religion
- Gay activists have met their match with Muslim barbers (In which a Muslim barber refuses to barber a lesbian because his religion forbids him to touch a woman other than his wife.)
- ASA Members Vote To Endorse Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions
- Not safe to display American flag in American high school on Cinco de Mayo
Is there any difference between them and why?
Bonus question re number 3: suppose the Muslim taxi driver refusing the couple with the bottle of wine was white and the passengers were black, would that change your mind? Why should it? An unrelated but practical question: why would you like a wedding cake baked for you by someone patently disapproves of your life style? Wouldn’t you be afraid to eat it? Why on earth would you want a shave or haircut from an angry Muslim barber? Have they run out of other barbers in Canada or is there a principle involved.
Ezra Levant tries to navigate the vicissitudes of modern political correctness in Canada. He’s a bolder man than me.
Omar Mahrouk is the owner of the Terminal Barber Shop in Toronto. He follows Shariah law, so he thinks women have cooties. As Mahrouk and the other barbers there say, they don’t believe in touching women other than their own wives. … So if we now believe in multiculturalism, and that our Canadian culture of tolerance isn’t any better than the Shariah culture of sex crimes and gender apartheid, who are we to complain when Omar Mahrouk takes us up on our promise that he can continue to practise his culture — lesbian haircuts be damned? …
Mahrouk’s view is illiberal. But in Canada we believe in property rights and freedom of association — and in this case, freedom of religion, too. But McGregor [the lesbian] ran to the Human Rights Tribunal and demanded that Mahrouk give her a haircut.
In the past, human rights commissions have been a great ally to gay activists. Because, traditionally, gay activists have complained against Christians. And white Christians are the one ethnic identity group that human rights commissions don’t value, and that multiculturalism doesn’t include.
In recent years, Canadian human rights commissions have weighed a complaint about a women’s-only health club that refused a pre-operative transsexual male who wanted to change in the locker rooms.
They’ve ordered bed and breakfasts owned by Christian families to take in gay couples. They’ve censored pastors and priests who have criticized gay marriage. Gays win, because it’s a test of who is most outraged and offended.
But in the case of the Muslim barbers, the gay activists have met their match. If the test is who can be the most offended or most politically correct, a lesbian’s just not going to cut it.
Oh, McGregor is politically correct. But just not politically correct enough. It’s like poker.
A white, Christian male has the lowest hand — it’s like he’s got just one high card, maybe an ace. So almost everyone trumps him.
A white woman is just a bit higher — like a pair of twos. Enough to beat a white man, but not much more.
A gay man is like having two pairs in poker.
A gay woman — a lesbian like McGregor — is like having three of a kind.
A black lesbian is a full house — pretty tough to beat.
Unless she’s also in a wheelchair, which means she’s pretty much a straight flush.
The only person who could trump that would be a royal flush. If the late Sammy Davis Jr. — who was black, Jewish and half-blind — were to convert to Islam and discover he was 1/64th Aboriginal.
So which is a better hand: A lesbian who wants a haircut or a Muslim who doesn’t want to give it to her?
I’m betting on Mahrouk. And I predict that Muslim activists — not quiet barbers like Mahrouk, but professional Muslim busybodies — will start using human rights commissions more and more to push their way into places where they have no legal right, but where the human rights commissions are more than happy to engineer things for them, if they complain loud enough.
Maybe Ezra Levant is right about the value of the cards. I wouldn’t know. But there’s a more fundamental question he doesn’t address. Who makes up these rules? One last question: does a multicultural community have its own distinct culture? Or is that forbidden by the multicultural property?
Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.
The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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